The Financial Times says it's partly due to good timing:
Externalities are clearly much more powerful in the internet age. Potter websites, online chat rooms and video games offer fans the opportunity to extend their enjoyment and magnify the network long after the book has been read. This sets the stage for the next installment in the series to be an even bigger hit. One wonders if Potter would have been a success without the Net.
It took more than 30 years for something that rivals Beatlemania to appear.
The economics of the internet age suggest that we won’t have to wait so long for something that is analogous to Potter. The internet magnifies the benefits of collective interaction and rewards the winners in a manner disproportionate to their relative quality. The Harry Potter series has ended, but something else will surely replace it, and soon.
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